Tuesday marked the beginning of the World Cup Lightning Round, when we're treated to 4 matches a day, 2 of them going on simultaneously, and pretty much everyone playing for survival. Heady stuff, to be sure. Let's see how the story ended in Groups A and B, who wrapped up on Tuesday.
Uruguay is moving on to the 2nd round for the first time in 20 years. They got thru the 1st round without conceding a goal, wrapping up first place in the group with a 1-0 win over Mexico.
France and South Africa were also playing while this match was going on, France managed to salvage some shred of dignity by scoring late in their 2-1 loss to the hosts, kind of in the same way making it to a toilet when you have to throw up on New Year's eve salvages a shred of dignity as opposed to barfing all over the floor. It's kind of like that. I read a recap that had a quote from a 17 year old French fan who said, “It’s funny, France is worthless”. See, that's what we've been trying to tell you! Good to see it's finally sinking in.
Alas, although South Africa finished with 4 points, as did Mexico, their goal differential was 3 goals worse thanks to the 3-0 pounding Uruguay put on them. So the hosts fail to go thru, and Mexico advances to round 2. Uruguay and Mexico, just like I predicted. I defeat all man!
GROUP A SUMMARY
Uruguay- D France 0-0, W S. Africa 3-0, W Mexico 1-0
Mexico- D S. Africa 1-1, W France 2-0, L Uruguay 0-1
S. Africa- D Mexico 1-1, L Uruguay 0-3, W France 2-1
France- D Uruguay 0-0, L Mexico 0-2, L S. Africa 1-2
Nigeria's Super Eagles laid a big giant Super Eagle egg in this World Cup, going home without a victory following their 2-2 draw against South Korea. Nigeria's Kalu Uche opened the scoring early, but Lee Jung Soo got the equaliser, and shortly after halftime Korean captain and Man U star made it 2-1. Nigeria was able to tie it on a goal by Ayegbeni Yakubu, and had a chance to get a comeback victory on a scoring chance late in the game for Obafemi Martins, but he couldn't convert, and South Korea advances for the first time as non-hosts.
Argentina wins the group, and did it impressively, finishing their group run with a 2-0 win over Greece and ending group play with a 7-1 goal differential. Lionel Messi was roughed up by the Greeks in the match, without repercussions from the officials, and Maradona went off after the match. Don't have the exact quote but I'm sure it involved calling Pele old and gay.
GROUP B SUMMARY
Argentina - W Nigeria 1-0, W S. Korea 4-1, W Greece 2-0
S. Korea - W Greece 2-0, L Argentina 1-4, D Nigeria 2-2
Greece - L S. Korea 0-2, W Nigeria 2-1, L Argentina 0-2
Nigeria- L Argentina 0-1, L Greece 1-2, D S. Korea 2-2
ROUND 2 MATCHUPS
Uruguay v. South Korea
Argentina v. Mexico